Spring Flowers At Sparkles Monthly Challenge

Yes it’s Spring, I hope the flowers are blooming where you are.  Nick has picked the fun theme of Spring Flowers but you MUST use at least five flowers on your project!

Our sponsors this month are

And

Crafty Bren’s Embroidered Embellishments, with a prize pack for a UK winner.

For my card I used one of my many, un-inked stamps!  This one is Hero Arts Newspaper Tulips.

I stared by covering a 6.5″ x 5″ card blank with spotty pink paper from ATD and cut a piece from My Mind Eye In Bloom pad to size and edged both with Memento Rosebud Ink.  To make the image panel I stamped with Versamark one of the large Hero Arts block stamps, Dots and Flowers, onto white card.  After it had dried I over stamped the Tulips stamp using Versamagic Ink Hint of Pesto and Aloe Vera for the stems and Pink Grapefruit and Perfect Plumeria for the flowers.  It was cut out with a Spellbinders die.  The grey matting is Bazzil card and I traced around the cutting die and cut it out by hand to make it slightly larger than the main image.  I also used some pink, self stick cotton lace from Michaels to wrap around the edge of the panel.

The image was popped up with foam tape.  The sentiment is from Kanban and was stamped in the Memento Rosebud ink on to a scrap of the same card used for the main panel that had been punched into a tag shape with a McGill punch.  It was tied to the lace with some white embroidery thread.

I hope you have time to join in with us this month, a fun theme I think and flowers are always popular.

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Challenges:

Allsorts ~ No Squares Allowed

Sister Act Card Challenge ~ Anything Goes

Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra Challenge ~ May

And wooosh!  April flew by and here we are knocking on the door of May.  This means there’s a new challenge at CHNC Extra and as always we’re an “anything goes as long as it’s Christmas” challenge.  You know how we love to see your Christmas cards building up every month.

Our generous sponsor is always Bugaboo Stamps with a great prize for one lucky person:

And the DT get to use Jodi’s fun images every month too.  This month I used the seriously cute Winter Bird Trio, keeping it simple as I had some incredibly shiny Holographic paper from SEI to contend with!

Spot the shiny paper lol.  I coloured the image with Prisma pencils, adding some Stickles to the pompom trim, the branch and the baubles.  The baubles were also covered with Glossy Accents too.  The sentiment is from Kaiserkfraft, stamped in Memento Rosebud, and the blue/pink backing card are scraps from The Paper Company.

Until next time…

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Challenges:

Pixies Snippets Workshop ~ Use Up Your Scraps (pink/blue card)

Georgia On My Mind

Home again, home again, jigety-jig!

Yes, we’ve been gallivanting around again, those of you who have been with me a while might remember that we like to head South at this time of year in search of some sun.  Our destination is usually the Isle of Palms in South Carolina, but this time around we decided to add a couple of days in Savannah, Georgia at the start of the holiday, and then finish up with a week on the IOP.

Savannah is billed as America’s Most Beautiful City because of it’s old buildings, cobbled streets, green spaces and it’s beautiful city squares, everyone we talked to said how wonderful it is.  So after a terrible 16 hour drive in topical pouring rain for over two thirds of it, we finally arrived at our hotel in Mid-town Savannah.

Typically at this time of year Savannah enjoys temps in the 80’sF (high 20’s to early 30’sC), but that rain we drove through (for well over 600 miles) ushered in a cold front more reminiscent of December than April!  We topped out at 53F (11C) on our one day looking round the old city, and we just weren’t prepared for that at all!  Still, we made the most of it and had a long, but interesting, day.

Don’t be fooled by the “I’m happy to be here” grin, it was Michigan temps and I was wearing a thin long sleeved tshirt and capri’s.  I had nothing else.  Andrew was wearing shorts!

The city is up-river from the ocean but was still a major and bustling port back in the day.  Now the river is more a source of tourist entertainment than trade.

The city is incredibly green, but it was also very dull and overcast making photos difficult, but I liked the old cobbled streets and the iron walkways spanning them.  The buildings to the left are the back of the old warehouses that front the river.

Needing a warm up we soon sniffed out the best coffee shop around.  Savannah Coffee Roasters started out as a coffee importer and roaster many moons ago in 1909.  They used to be just a supplier of fresh coffee to other establishments until a couple of years ago when the company was bought out by an Australian lady who renovated a fantastic old building and opened it up as a cafe.   Now, they still roast their own coffee but they also bake fabulous cakes (Limoncello Cake for me and Tiramisu for Andrew), and have a great lunch menu too.  Their executive chef was the last to train under the formidable doyen of  American cookery, Julia Childs.

Founded in 1733 by General James Edward Oglethorpe representing King George II, Savannah was originally settled to stem the Catholic flow of the Spanish and French Northwards from Florida and Louisiana.  The original city plan and layout was even mapped out before Oglethorpe set sail from England.  This included the 24 city squares that the city is perhaps most famous for.

Like many cities old cities though Savannah has seen its fortunes rise and fall over the years and two of the original squares were lost to redevelopment in the 1950’s before the formation of the Historic Savannah Foundation preserved them and the historic buildings around them.

Oglethope’s original design had trust lots on the East and West sides of the Squares for churches and public buildings and tithing lots on the North and South sides for colonists homes.

Some of the Squares are wonderful, peaceful oasis’s from the bustle of a big city, others now find themselves on the main routes in and out of the city and take a lot of vehicular traffic.  None of the roads go though the squares, so even the big buses and lorries have to negotiate the large evergreen oaks, narrow streets, parked cars and tourists as they make their way gingerly around them!

But I’ll be honest… perhaps it was the cold weather that did it, or the very touristy section by the waterfront, or all the traffic in the city or maybe all the walking we did, but I was seriously beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about.  I know with warmer temps and some sun the place would look amazingly different but I was already beginning to turn my thoughts towards Charleston, the Isle of Palms and South Carolina….

Sparkles Monthly Challenge ~ Ribbon & Buttons

Hello All ~ It’s time for a new challenge at Sparkles this month, thank you all for joining in with our Teddy Bear theme last time, please check the main blog to see the winner and Top 3.

Our lovely leader Shaz picked the theme for this month.  It is Shaz’s last challenge with Sparkles as she is stepping away from both Sparkles blogs and we will miss her, but the show will go on and the challenges will continue.  Hopefully Shaz will even have time to pop in once in a while too!

We have two fabulous sponsors again this month, we have a fab prize pack from Marianne Designs:

And once again we have a voucher for you to spend at Crafty Ribbons:

So, Ribbons & Buttons.  This is what I did this month.

I used a beautiful Mo Manning image called What’s Cooking?  She’s been printed out for a long time (over a year) so it didn’t bleed at all when I used my Prisma’s and blending oil to colour her up.  As you can see I went with a bright Spring theme as we’ve definitely turned a corner in my neck of the woods.  Winter is, most definitely, history!

So let’s start from the top.. the gingham backing paper is a digi freebie from The Friday Freebie, the birthday paper is from a Dovecraft pack and the orange flower paper is from a MME pack.  They were all edged in blue Distress Ink and matted on to blue card.  The central blue strip is punched with the Fiskars Threading Water punch from a scrap of card.

The sentiment is Hero Arts stamped in Versafine Black.  The yellow flowers are from Prima, buttons from Michaels and baker’s twine from American Crafts  The blue gingham ribbon came with a UK card magazine and I used the Bow Easy to create the cute double bow.

Finally I popped the image up on foam dots, which you can see better in this photo.

We’d love to have you join in with us this month, we really appreciate your support as always.

Crafty Hazel’s Mid-Month Reminder

It’s time for the mid-month reminder at Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra Challenge, remember you can make anything you wish, as long as it’s Christmas based, as our challenges are always “Anything Goes”.  We’re always sponsored by Bugaboo Stamps who offer a very generous $21 prize pack.

I made two very quick and easy cards for you, these would be very simple to mass produce and they’re also really flat, so no extra postage to worry about.  I don’t know about you but I have a mountain of snippets of Christmas papers left over from other projects, so I always try to find ways to use some of them up.

 

These cards use nothing more than some little snips of patterned paper cut into pennant shapes, a sentiment and a few little gems.  The backing cards were from a cheap card making kit from years ago, I still have a few left in other colours so might do a few more of these.  Here they are close up so you can see the detail better.

The card front was covered in white cardstock.  The pennants are hand cut from DCWV papers, although the green text paper on this one was from a UK card magazine.  The sentiment is from Kaiserkraft, stamped in Versamagic Aloe Vera ink and as much as I love this stamp set I find the quality to be bad.  The rubber is very soft and too pliable, press too hard and the words blur, don’t press hard enough and you get an unevenly stamped sentiment as I have here.  I’m still working on it!  I found the glittered heart in the little tin of die cut scraps and I added a few green gems to finish it off.

The second card was made in the same manner, all of the papers are DCWV this time, the sentiment is from the same Kaiserkraft set and the ink is Memento Rhubarb Stalk.

So that’s me for this month.  I hope you have time to join us again and get those cards made!

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Challenges:

Pixies Snippets Playground ~ Use Up Your Scraps

Sister Act Card Challenge ~ Anything Goes

A Birthday Card

I realised that I never did blog about the birthday card I made for my husband back in February, it appeared in a “general roundup” type of post but that was all.  So here it is now, in all its glory!

The seriously cute image is Hello Baby Giraffe from A Day For Daisies and I coloured it with Prisma pencils and cut it out with a Spellbinders circle die, mounted on to a Spellbinders scalloped circle die.  The blue backing card is from The Paper Company and the DP is all MME Lost & Found Oliver collection.  The sentiment is from Hero Arts, stamped in Versamagic Paris Dusk.

Like most men, my husband dislikes embellishments, but I really don’t think that this card needed anything anyway.  The LO was based on a sketch at Sketch Saturday from early February and one of the DT had used this same giraffe image and papers.  Oddly enough, I’d also just used those papers on a different card and they were still sitting on my desk and so having a giraffe loving husband I knew right away that it would make the most perfect birthday card for him!

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Challenges:

Simon Says Wednesday Challenge ~ Happy Birthday

Crafty Calendar Challenge ~ Add A Sentiment

Crafty Hazel’s Patterned Paper Challenge ~ Anything Goes

Sparkles Christmas Challenge ~ Use Kraft Card

Hello All, time to start another month at Sparkles Christmas Challenge.  The lovely Jo has chosen a great theme for you this time round, and that is to use Kraft card.  And I know how much we all like using that!

Before we get to my card I need to tell you about our brilliant sponsors for this month.

First up we have 3 digis from Crafty Sentiments Designs, and then we have a voucher from Crafty Ribbons.

For my card this month I cased a beautiful one I saw on Pinterest, it had been pinned and re-pinned so I don’t know who the original artist was to give credit to unfortunately.

My Kraft card is in the card base and also in the die cut Memory Box Snowflakes.

I embossed a Darice snowflake embossing folder and added lots of die cut pine branches that had been cut from various  scraps of green card. At the back is a few chopped up Marianne Pine Branches and on top are McGill punched Pine Branches. They were all sprayed with Perfect Pearls mist in Pearl and Heirloom Gold and I used Glossy Accent to make sure they stayed put!  I then wrapped gold ribbon around the panel and secured it to an offcut of red card.  The sentiment is from a package of Christmas wrapping paper but I think I put it to a better use!

The Memory Box snowflakes were cut from more scraps of kraft card.  I deliberated a long time between three small or two small and one large snowflake!  When I was happy I added some red pearls.

I had a lot of fun making this, it looks so stunning but it’s really pretty simple to do.  I hope you have time to join in with us this month, we love seeing all your beautiful Christmas cards.

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Challenges:

Pixies Snippets Playground ~ Use Up Your Scraps (lots of scraps this time!)

Sister Act Card Challenge ~ Anything Goes

Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Challenge ~ Stick It! (Loads of sticking going on here, lol!)

 Winter Wonderland ~ Embossing (Wet or Dry)

Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra Challenge ~ April

Hello Peeps – April has rolled around and today sees the start of another monthly challenge at Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra Challenge.  As always we’re sponsored by the ever generous Bugaboo Stamps, and the prize is $21 for the winner to spend at the store.

For my card I used Bugaboo Christmas Cupcake ~ Mistletoe.  It was coloured up with Prisma pencils, covered in Versamark ink and embossed with Tim Holtz Holographic Embossing Powder for a lovely sparkly finish.

The embossing folder is from Stampin’ Up and it’s embossed directly on the card base.  I’m trying to be mindful of posting costs this year!  The image is popped up on foam pads and I added a few red gems to the snowflakes.

That’s all from me this time round, keep making those Christmas cards, we love seeing them and you know you’ll be glad you joined in later in the year!

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Challenges:

Sister Act Card Challenge ~ Anything Goes

Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Challenge ~ Stick It (Foam sticky pads)

Completely Christmas ~ Anything Goes with a twist ~ No Sentiment

I Know It’s A Card, Don’t Faint!

Yeah, so I got back in to my craft room at the weekend, and I did something for a DT commitment, and then very surprisingly, I did something else for the fun of it too!  I know!!

It was just a quick little Christmas card for Mo’s current Rudolph Day Challenge, that I haven’t managed to join in with yet.  I have a number of pieces of Christmas papers in small pads that have quite large images on them that make it difficult to cut up and place on a card with lots of other elements.  So I came up with a simple of idea of using a few up.  It should have been simple, but in reality it took a lot longer than was necessary, mostly because if you don’t plan very well (and I’m sorely out of practice), you’ll be a bit stuck die cutting your card blank if you only have a Cuttlebug.

But this is the card:

And my idea was to cut a shape in the empty space, cut a matching shape in the card blank, decorate the inside and then stamp a large sentiment on the inside to show through the aperture you cut.  But what happened was this!  I cut the aperture on the paper with a Spellbinders Oval die and traced around the opening to cut the matching aperture on the card blank.  And then realised I wasn’t going to get the open card into the Cuttlebug to cut the hole.  The paper is 4.5″ by 6.5″, which is wides than the bed of my die cutting machine.  I tried packing out the card blank with paper but I still ended up with an embossed oval on the back of the blank, so I ended up cutting the opening out with a scalpal.  This wasn’t as neat as using the die, so after stamping the Stampin’ Up verse, I stuck it to the inside front of the card to cover up the rough cut-out.  And if you’re wondering about the single snowflake, I edged the inside of the opening with a red ink pen and the pen slipped!  I needed something to cover up the boo-boo!

 

I’ve got a few more sheets of paper like this with different designs on them, so if I can come up with a way of reliably cutting the aperture on the card blank I’ll be making more of these.

Card Recipe:

  • Card: Blank from Michaels ~The Paper Company
  • DP: Recollections Christmas Pack
  • Ink: Versamagic Red Magic
  • Stamp: Stampin” Up More Merry Messages
  • Embellies: Whispers Red Ink Pen ~ Kraft snowflake (Martha punch) from the snippets tin ~ Red gem from Michael’s
  • Tools: Cuttlebug ~ Spellbinders Oval Die

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Challenges:

Scrappy Mo’s Rudolph Day ~ Make A Christmas Card

Pixies Snippets Playground ~ Use Up Your Scraps (the snowflake)

Sister Act Card Challenge ~ Anything Goes

Crafty Hazel’s Patterned Paper Challenge ~ Anything Goes

Simon Says Stamp ~ Anything Goes

Stuck In Spring-ter!

The calendar tells me it’s the first week of Spring but it’s actually been colder here than the first week of Winter was back in December!  We’re feeling a bit trapped between that no-mans land between Winter and Spring, hence the “Spring-ter” in the post title if you haven’t figured it out yet.

Whilst the weather makes up its mind which way to go I thought I’d show you a few photos of the last days of Winter, a bit late as they’re from the first two weekends in March, but I’ve had strep throat and my step-father is in hospital in England after suffering a nasty fall.  No broken bones, amazingly, but he’s pretty banged up and needed stitches on his face, he’s being kept in for a few days for observation and to make sure that he’s able to get about under his own steam again.

These first few are from our skiing trip to Petoskey.  We forgot the camera on the first day, which is a shame as it was beautiful and sunny and just so pretty.  These are from the Sunday when it was grey and show showery all day, it wasn’t very cold though, not much below freezing and the snow conditions were perfect.  And as Andrew always says, it doesn’t matter how dull the day, or how many people are on the slopes, he can spot me a mile off!

 

And as you can see, on Sunday we practically had the place to ourselves.  Anyone who had come up for the weekend was leaving by Sunday lunchtime for the drive home, but as we weren’t leaving until the Monday it worked out perfectly.

And on the Monday, before leaving, we walked along the harbour in Petoskey as it was a stunning day.  Actually, let me rephrase that, we walked ON the harbour in Petoskey!  Little Traverse Bay was completely frozen over, there were tire tracks on it from trucks heading out to do some ice fishing, and snow-mobile tracks too plus lots of footprints!

Back at home a weekend later and the weather couldn’t have been more different, highs of 21C soon put paid to all of our remaining snow.

Since then we’ve been back down to -8C, mostly after the official start of Spring, but at least that’s given us plenty of indoor time to continue ripping out the bathroom, which is now a big empty space, warts and all.  And we have a lot of work ahead of us!  But more on that another time.

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